An interview with one of the most loved and arguably the most feared EL teacher on campus, Mr. Veda Sunassee on fears, Halloween and love potions.
After heavy stalking and googling, one can find out that Mr. Sunassee is a Princeton graduate who majored in Political Science and Political Economy though he spent his first two years of college studying Mechanical & Aerospace engineering. To the students that have undergone classes with him, Mr. Sunassee, like the other EL teachers, will break you down emotionally and mentally but always re-builds you bigger and better.
ALAians Media had the opportunity to interview Mr. Sunassee whilst he prepared for Diwali and this is what he had to say about fears, Halloween and love potions stating that he hopes his insights would be of use to ALAians Media’s “incredibly wide audience”.
Interviewer: What was your biggest fear growing up?
My biggest fear growing up was probably cemeteries. The idea that a cemetery was a place for dead people scared me. Whenever we went on road trips, I had nightmares about most of the cemeteries we passed by.
Interviewer: Do you believe in ghosts?
As a kid I did believe in ghosts and I was scared of them until a very important event occurred in my life that helped me get rid of all of my fears.
Interviewer: So you are telling me that as of right now, you have no fears?
There are things that creep me out, like snakes but I don’t think I’m scared really.
Interviewer: How is Halloween celebrated in your country if celebrated?
It isn’t really celebrated in Mauritius. I can’t recall a Halloween party in my country but I do remember celebrating Halloween at university.
Interviewer: For your first Halloween, what did you go dressed up as?
Funny thing is I never went to a Halloween party at university. The parties simply never appealed to me. When I did finally celebrate, I dressed up as a pirate.
Interviewer: What is your favorite magical story?
*Hesitates* My favorite spells and curses are from Harry Potter however, my favorite magical story is *hesitates some more* a myth from Mauritius. There is a mountain in Mauritius called Pieter Both. The peak of the mountain is almost like a head on shoulders. The story goes that there was this guy who lived on a farm and he would sell milk on his bicycle. One day he was passing by the mountain when he heard some very beautiful music. For he was curious, he hid behind a rock in the mountain and listened, as he watched these fairies dance. They were such beautiful creatures that this habit of watching the fairies became daily. One day he got caught and he was immediately transformed into a stone. The idea is that the head of the mountain is actually his head. This story was such a fascinating tale as I grew up and it has inspired a lot of my own creative writing.
Interviewer: Favorite character in a book?
*Immediately answers* Severus Snape
Interviewer: Favorite film?
I do really like Harry Potter but I would say, the Lord of the Rings.
Interviewer: If you could use a magical spell, like a love spell, on somebody, would you and who would it be on?
*Laughs* Like the elixir of love? Would I use it? It’s tempting. Very tempting. Uhm… I think I know who I would use it on.
Interviewer: Want to share with our readers?
*Chuckles* absolutely not.
Interviewer: So you wouldn’t use it?
No. I believe in my charms. I believe in my ability to win over a heart without having to use magic. *pause* That sounds like an ethical dilemma right there. Testing my leadership I see?
But if I really were to use a magical spell though, I think I’d use the cruciatus curse on students (*Evil Laughs*)
Interviewer: Describe the best costume you’ve ever seen.
It has to be Ms. Alli dressed up as a Christmas tree. Joking. I’ll get back to you on that one.
Interviewer: Has anyone ever played a prank on you? And if yes, how did you react?
They try. I usually outwit them all but it’s funny because I play a lot of pranks on people so I find it fun and see the fun in the prank when people show me what I put them through. I think it’s important to play pranks as long as you’re not harming anyone.
Interviewer: Do you watch horror movies?
Yeah, I do. I think they are really funny.
Interviewer: What’s your favorite one?
Interviewer: That’s not really a horror movie though. It’s a parody of all horror movies…
Okay, I guess it is Final Destination or The Ring
Interviewer: What is the advice you can give all our readers on how to face their fears?
Just…face them! Straight in the eyes! Can I give you an example? It’s that landmark event I mentioned earlier that led me to overcome fear. My uncle, who had no kids had just passed away. In my culture, if a married man dies, then the son performs some rituals but because my uncle had no son and being his nephew I carried out the rituals. It required me to spend 10 days sleeping on the floor and doing a bunch of things. Anyway, it was a very scary time since I was staying at his house and talk of the afterlife circulated the house. I was 11 or 12 years old. One night, I had to go to the bathroom and it was really dark. Like that was not scary enough, the light in the bathroom decided it was not going to work. It was about 2am and I mustered enough courage to enter the bathroom despite the dark. There was a little window through which I saw a shadow move. In that moment I was convinced I had seen a ghost. I froze on the spot but somehow I managed to challenge myself to look up once more. Just to confirm I raised my head and looked outside and realized the ghost was just the shadow of a huge banana leaf. That was a huge moment for me because I am sure if I hadn’t double-checked, I would probably still be telling people I had seen a ghost that night. I think it proved that usually you perpetually fear things that have scared or scarred you in just one moment. Like when I had my first car accident (before I even got my license) with my little niece in the backseat and I backed straight into a tree. Luckily neither of us got injured but I would refuse to get behind the wheels again, until my uncle forced me into the car again and face the fear of driving.
So yeah… You just need to find the courage to look at your fear straight in the eye.
Mr. Veda Sunassee has proved that to get over your fears, you must challenge them. ALAians Media would like to thank him for being entertaining and an inspiration to students especially in the ALA community.
To read more on Veda Sunnassee: http://www.africanleadershipacademy.org/building-foundation/academy/amazing-faculty/veda-sunassee